ATyr Pharma Chief Scientific Officer, David King, to Resign

Xconomy San Diego — 

ATyr Pharma, a developer of protein drugs, said Monday its chief scientific officer will leave the company at year’s end. David King has been with San Diego, CA-based aTyr (NASDAQ: LIFE) for two years.

He is resigning to start a biotech company, aTyr said in a prepared statement, which quoted King as saying that launching his own business has been a “life-long goal.” King’s new company won’t compete with his former employer, according to aTyr, which described the business as in “a non-competitive area and in biology distinct” from its work.

While King’s resignation will be effective Dec. 31, he will reduce his hours to less than full-time as of Nov. 1, according to a document filed last week with securities regulators. He will serve as a consultant for the company into 2019, aTyr said.

Last year CEO John Mendlein stepped down after six years with the company. Sanjay Shukla, aTyr’s chief medical officer, succeeded him.

ATyr went public in 2015, raising $75 million. Previously it had raised five rounds of financing, including $76 million in a round led by new investor Sofinnova Ventures and an unnamed large institutional biotech investor.